When Was Lead Solder Banned For Plumbing?
Lead solder was used for many years to connect pipes and electronic components, but it is no longer used on plumbing systems that supply wholesome water for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Lead solder is banned under the Water Fittings Regulations. While the law prohibits the use of lead solder in plumbing systems, it does not apply to non-drinking water installations such as closed circuit central heating systems. However, plumbing and heating authorities in the U.S. are still allowed to use lead solder in other systems. Water suppliers in the UK have found examples of illegal use of lead solder in plumbing systems. The Drinking Water Inspectorate received reports that 11 of their routine drinking water quality tests contained more than twice the permitted limit of lead. Lead solder was used on short lengths of distribution pipes that enter each apartment. The developer was subsequently issued with an enforcement notice under the Water Fittings Regulations and forced to replace suspect joints. The use of lead-free solder has been a controversial issue in the plumbing industry for many years, but recent research shows that the health risks are minimal. Lead-free solder is stronger, more resistant to heat, and free of lead. While lead-free solder is more expensive than lead-based solder, the cost is nominal compared to the benefits. If you are a plumbing or heating contractor, you will need to invest in a lead-free solder. EPA warns that plumbing contractors should use lead-free solder whenever possible. The chemical is absorbed more readily in hot water than cold water, so using hot water to fill up the bathtub is not recommended. Furthermore, if you are a homeowner, the Safe Drinking Water Act also prohibits the use of lead solder and flux in plumbing. Lastly, the EPA has said that lead-free water is the safest water. While lead-free water has been a priority in the U.S., it is important to remember that traces of lead may still get into the water supply unless the plumbing is thoroughly replaced. Unfortunately, lead pipes and lead solder are still prevalent in many homes, even those built after the 1986 ban. Furthermore, about 10 million homes still have lead service lines connecting their homes to the water mains. To remove them would cost at least £1,000 per home. Health concerns about lead in plumbing began in the early 1800s. Despite the widespread concerns, however, there were no attempts to ban lead solder in plumbing until the 1920s, when lead poisoning became a public health concern. The Lead Industries Association, founded in 1928, lobbied against any change in municipal building codes. The association was still active throughout the 1970s, but the EPA eventually changed the rule. After the water treatment plant, lead often gets into the water. The main cause of lead in water is corrosion – the reaction between water and lead pipes and lead-based solder. In some cases, lead in water is dissolved by standing water. Soft water has a higher level of dissolved lead and can cause water to become more corrosive. Some home water treatment devices can also contribute to the presence of lead in water. Click here to learn more about boiler installation derby.